Pick the team or player of your choice and relish the dish named after them at the IPL themed food festival

As the elevator doors open out on the roof, potted palms and a fitful summer breeze greet me. So does a grinning caricature of Sachin and two IPL jerseys. Sigh! There’s no ignoring the yearly glitzy ‘sporting’ season. It somehow catches up with one- on the front pages of newspapers, Facebook walls, and now, on rooftop restaurants.

Some joints have cashed in on the IPL frenzy by setting up giant screens. Fans too reluctant to leave the telly for an evening out, can dig into their paper roast or panner fingers, while relishing a feast of a different kind, dished out by the Gayles and Husseys. Thendral restaurant at Hotel Ramyas has lifted the tempo a notch higher, putting the franchise’s popular players on the menu.

Players on the menu

The ‘IPL adhiradi live food mela’ uses the giant screen, the live barbecue counters and the ever-at-hand thendral (sure to experience, if you sit away from the live kitchen) to advantage. As I look away from the giant screen, a waiter in a Royal Challengers jersey pops up with a menu.

In case you don’t find enough entertainment on the screen, you can always turn to the menu! Though riddled with bloopers, the inventive IPL twist to the dishes, guarantees giggles. Where else would you find Yorker Malinga prawn varuval, Virat Kohli varuval and Poricha meen Pollard? There’s also the straight drive chicken and LBW tandoori murg! Though Sachin only has a humble rashmi kebab named after him, there’s Dhoni’s helicopter drive murgh tikka and a rather intimidating seafood plate that goes by ‘Monster Gayle tandoori pomfret’.

The best bet are the combos named after various teams, complete with soup, starter, main course- all priced between Rs. 250- 380. While each combo throws in a free jersey, a drink would have made for a perfect summer evening clinch. The Chennai Super Kings combo with French beans salad and paneer chips may having nothing ‘Chennai’ about it, though the Hyderabad Sunrisers combo throws in a biryani. The menu has not been designed according to regional cusines, allowing for fusion of tastes, says Nithya Kumar, director. “It is a combination of some newly introduced items with some of our popular dishes.”

True, the Delhi Daredevils has a Greek salad and asparagus soup, while the Royal Challengers combo emanates a Manglorean flavor with Kori Gassi, a regional chicken preparation, notes executive chef Dorairaj. There is also the ‘Man of the match’ bonanza- a tandoor platter for one. A once-fan loyalty kicking in suddenly, I pick the Mumbai Indians combo and down a creamy tomato soup, tender potato salad with lashings of fresh yogurt and a merely passabe plate of batter-fried veggies. The ‘Sunshine rice’ with hints of cinnamom and cardamom, when topped with the tender baby corn jalfrezi turns out the better deal. The portions are for one adult.

As the screen is tactfully placed at one end, you can still turn your back on it and enjoy a quiet evening, if you land a table at one of the corners. The IPL themed food festival is on every night till May 26.